Ok, so here is that horrid design I promised you all last week…and yes, it was a DPS! Before I get down into all the things I should’ve improved, let me start with a little disclaimer: I barely remember designing this (maybe it’s just my mind blocking out an awful memory, I don’t know), but taking the photos for this page was a lot of fun!!
I’ll start with the photos: part of The Appellation staff was my best friend, Eleanor. For this page, the two of us went all over town to eat frozen yogurt because we had to take pictures of it. We had to take the photos very quickly before everything melted and looked really gross. I remember it was also really hard to get the toppings to fall nicely on the yogurt. And oh my gosh, filling up the cups with yogurt and trying to make it look nice was the most taxing part of it all–those yogurt dispensers are hard to control! By the end of the day, you can probably guess how full we were feeling 😀
Alright, fun feelings aside, I’ll get down to critiquing this…
- Colors– they all match!
- Photos- they’re alright
That’s about it haha…
- Text placement
- Photos and placement
- Use of white space
- Font choices
- Hierarchy of design
Ok, starting with text placement: Circles and text are a BAD mix! Text wrap around circles is always very awkward and not reader friendly. But text in circles? Even worse! It’s hard to follow, the words get squished together, and it just looks ugly. Furthermore, in this case, it wasn’t necessary for the text to be in circles. This design could’ve very well been created without that concept. Furthermore, the placement of text resulted in white space that wasn’t effectively used. Although white space has been a consistent design trend for the last few years, this was not quite following that trend- rather, this design just looks plain and unfinished.
Next up, photos and placement: paired with my poor text placement, the photo placement just add to the awkward white space on this spread. Furthermore, the photos in general were alright, but most definitely could’ve been improved. Rather than cut-outs, they should’ve been full-fledged photos with a background and people in them. I think a really cute concept for this page could have been including my journey with Eleanor to these various frozen yogurt shops. Although this varies from a traditional story, I think it would’ve been a very fresh and unique spin to the typical coverage of a story.
Had we gone with this new concept, the design could’ve been altered so there would be a map of Iowa City with cute icons of the places we went to get yogurt. It could also include photos of each venue, the flavors and toppings included, and us eating yogurt. As of now, this spread is sparse in photos, text, and design elements, but changing the concept would make it photo heavy.
With this new concept, the use of white space could be a bit more effective, and utilized so that the photos have lots of space around them but also have space for cool, informative captions that include quotes and maybe even statistics about each place.
For font choice, the font for the headline is alright, but if we was to go with that font, I should’ve made it repeat elsewhere on the page. Instead, the headline was the only instance of this font, making it look awkward and seem as if it was a fast choice that I didn’t think much about. A general rule of thumb is that designs should not have more than three fonts. So, with my new concept in mind, one font could’ve been used for the headline and subheads for each place, one font could’ve been used for the body text, and one for the deck and captions.
In terms of hierarchy of design, this page is very lacking. When fresh eyes look at it, there isn’t a clear place to focus on- the headline is small and competes with the large photos across the page as well as with the text that sticks out like a sore thumb. Furthermore, the odd streaks of color make everything a bit more confusing. Although this page was intended to be very clean and easy on the eye, it is anything but that because nothing flows!
With the new concept I came up with in this post, I would be really excited to take a stab at this story idea again…if only frozen yogurt was still a new fad 😦 Maybe I can put this idea to use for something else in the future, though!
Stay tuned for next week’s design, “50 Shades of Orange.” (No, it’s not about Trump!)